Thursday, 26 February 2015
Come the Apocalypse!
This weekend saw the inaugural Apocalypse game of 2015 in our local store and my oh my what a game it was! 12,500pts a side, Dark Angels and Imperial Guard vs Eldar, Necrons, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Imperial Guard and Grey Knights.
Both myself and Alun were in attendance and as usual we were facing off against each other. Alun was Warlord of the mixed team and I was a mere cog in the Unforgiven machine.
It was one of those games that had to end because there is only so much time you can play a game before the fates make everyone go home, sadly for me that was about 2.5 hours before everyone else. Life has a habit of stopping play, most annoyingly for me, that stoppage came as I was about to gloriously charge my Freeblade Knight, Gladestalker, into the living metal hull of a Tesseract Vault. Them's the breaks kiddo!
What will keep the game alive in our minds for a good while to come though, was what occurred outside of the dice rolling.
For once, there was no arguing. There may have been a false accusation of off table model tampering, but that aside we all got on. No-one had a strop, no-one walked away, but critically no-one gave up regardless how bleak their continued survival was.
James once again bought his Gemini formation (2 Revenant scout titans, utterly brutal) and Alun fielded 2 Vaults, on our team we had my 2 Imperial Knights and Baneblades from Owen and Alex. On paper that's unfair. The DA/IG Super-heavy vehicles were dramatically outmatched in pure firepower, only really hoping that the 2 Knights could survive long enough to get into charge range to bring their Chainblades to bear.
To our eternal shock it didn't work out that way. One vault and both Revenants were completely stymied by three 80pt Darkshrouds and the timely use of the Shield Generator Strategic asset. Our whole right flank, made up of the Ravenwing and Knights, were untouchable for two game turns, allowing us to get our forces into range for the kill.
What this showed us was that it didn't matter how many D-weapons or super-heavy vehicles you throw at someone, if they have the right stuff it can't do anything. Blunted, the Gemini formation was far less fearsome than it had been in previous games and lost a lot of the "shock and awe" it usually creates. For example, in the first turn the only shots that went their way came from my Paladin, and that was for a lack of another viable target. (side note, both battle cannon shells hit and stripped a hull point a piece!)
On the whole then, it was a fun, successful day where a bunch of disparate gamer's came together in the name of the dice gods.
On the whole, that is. There was another side to things that brings me to the point:
With 10 people clustered around a 6x8 table, itself crammed into a space of about 8x10, there was an awful lot of bumping in to each other. The amount of times "excuse me" was said was shocking, but this is good etiquette.
What came to a head due my butterfingered loss of a tape measure into Alun's Immortals (bifurcating one and utterly annihilating another) was the sheer volume of broken models. Sadly due to the spread deployment of his Necrons, most of them were of Alun's.
Of course, I was utterly mortified. I'd just panned two of my friends beautiful Immortals because of sweaty fingered clumsiness. I apologised immediately and offered to repair them but Alun declined, after all, it was only two models.
Shortly after that Alun discovered that one of his Tomb Blades at the other end of the table had developed a mysterious case of "component just fell off" syndrome when an unidentified assailant knocked it off the top of a ruin. No apology, no-one stepped up to admit the accident, poor etiquette.
There were a number of other breakages caused by heavy handedness and people moving each others stuff, and it is all entirely avoidable if people just be careful.
Apocalypse is awesome, its insanity with rules (paradox!) but I think its more for 2v2 than 5v5 or more. Unless, of course, there is more than ample space around the table and everyone is careful.